I used to be mystified by whale-shaped volcanoes.
Now, I know it’s all just so much razzle-dazzle,
a certain belching of acid or fire, a little rumble
shaking us up toward our only glimpse of sky.
Sometimes I think our whale volcano might be
on a birthday cake, white frosting under our feet
if only we could dig far enough. If only we had
any inclination, or enough shovels. Sometimes
I think we’re all alone, and there’s no such thing
as birthdays. Only saltwater. Only lava. Only
the sound of our own breath, repeating.